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【2009】Painting and Spurs—Wang Minan



Wang Yin is a rational artist, because all his works were deliberately designed. Although he doesn't care much about the details of his paintings, he pays high attention to the aim of his works. His works would always have a context, always have a purpose. To be specific, his works are aimed at the contemporary Chinese art history. He knows the art history like the palm of his hand, and his works are based on his reflection on the history, and he has consistently treated the art history as the referent. Through copy, exaggeration, retrography and parody etc., he has connected his works with those in the art history. Such connection determines the meaning of his works. On the surface, we find that the subjects of Wang Yin's paintings are always changing, and don't know what Wang Yin is really painting. The point is, Wang Yin has never taken what to paint as the starting point, on the contrary, he connects the images and methods with the art history. Only knowing this, can we understand the painting style of Wang Yin. He painted long-legged women, is he interested in the nude? Of course not, but he is interested in how the artists of his previous generation painted the nude. He painted the self-portrait, then is he interested in himself? Of course not, he is only interested in the educational machine of arts. So, if you want to interpret Wang Yin, you should not start from the images of his paintings, but rather from the connection between his paintings with art history, thus you can find the nature of Wang Yin's style. If you start from the images on the paintings, you will find that his paintings are inconsistent, out of time, and somewhat "vulgar". But he wants to connect them with the art history, so he has to use the outmoded images, outdated method and unfashionable styles to paint. What is important is that Wang Yin tries to bring the vulgar paintings to the new era, turn these "vulgar" painting as the spur of the new era. On the contrary, this new era has to activate these outmoded “vulgar" paintings. This is similar to the situation: in a crowd of people who speak standard mandarin, there suddenly comes a voice with strong accent, this may sound strident, but sometimes they have to face this dialect background. In fact, those who speak standard mandarin used to have accent, but they have forgotten how they have corrected their accents. Wang Yin tries to help retrieve the process how the dialect turned to standard mandarin. This dialect indeed has its own special grammar and meaning. In that sense, Wang Yin's work is of critical importance. He keeps away from the current trend: when people are inebriated in their own art world, Wang Yin keeps asking like an ascetic how this art reality formed.